Traumatized: Facility offers realistic medical training
August 26, 2010
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- An improvised explosive device is detonated in a crowded marketplace, causing severe trauma to the lower body of a Soldier sitting in his Humvee. Moments later, a team of Soldiers arrives to provide life-saving first aid and get the wounded Soldier out of harm's way.
This is the scenario of a new training facility at Fort Jackson designed to provide realistic training for Basic Combat Training Soldiers.
"Most Soldiers train on medical tasks in a very calm, unrealistic environment without all the noise, smells, blood and other distractions found in combat," said Lt. Col. Richard MacDermott, commander of the 4th Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment. "The first time they come face-to-face with a severe injury, it is a shock to their systems."
The 4-10th, which was tasked with creating the medical simulation training facility, or MSTF, has created an indoor training environment that features a state-of-the art trauma simulator dummy that bleeds, surroundings that look like a Middle Eastern marketplace, smoke, loud noises and more.
The trauma simulator, a flesh-colored dummy, has several interactive features, such as a simulated pulse and moveable trachea. The dummy is controlled via remote.
"The simulated casualties will continue to bleed until the Soldier performs all of the necessary tasks in the appropriate sequence," said Col. Jeffrey Sanderson, Fort Jackson chief of staff. "That heightened sense of training realism will increase our Soldier's competence and confidence."
Six rooms comprise the facility, which is located across from Victory Bingo on Huger Avenue in Building 12501. An administration room is near the entrance of the facility, with a bay area in front for Soldiers to wait their turn. The back of the building features bleachers for after-action review.
In the center of each training room will be a reconstructed Humvee with the trauma simulators inside.
Soldiers must extract the training dummy out of the vehicle and perform life-saving first aid.
"This training will ensure they can perform under pressure, with distractions, when their battle buddy's life is on the line," MacDermott said.
Soldiers must complete six medical tasks during the training scenario and pass by 80 percent. The facility will be able to train up to 288 Soldiers per day, or one company, in the beginning of operation.
"The tasks are going to stress the Soldiers, not the drill sergeants, and that is what we want," said Col. Bryan Rudacille, 165th Infantry Brigade commander. "The brigade looks forward to using the new facility. It will perfectly complement the initial medical training for Soldiers entering our Army."
The facility will have a medic assigned to each of the training rooms and each Soldier will complete an after-action review.
"We got the mission to come up with a low-cost way to improve the realism of medical training and from there it was the medics and others who got the ideas together and started the ball rolling," MacDermott said. "The chief provided the funds and our battalion did the research and leg work to get the trauma simulators, smoke and other effects together into one package.
"I am especially proud of the work of the NCOs who pushed to get the most realistic training available," he said. "They care deeply about training Soldiers and have worked hard to make this STX work."